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White marble statue of machinist with hammer, anvil, and cogs.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • White marble statue of machinist with hammer, anvil, and cogs.


c. 1859


Emma Stebbins (American, 1815–1882)

About this artwork

Emma Stebbins’s subject here is a modern one: an industrial worker and his young apprentice. Having studied Classical art, Stebbins applied its vocabulary and material to new ends. The harmonious, balanced forms depict contemporary men engaged in skilled pursuits that wed intellect and physical labor. Like many 19th-century American artists, Stebbins, born in New York, sought greater opportunity abroad, connecting with a community of female sculptors in Rome in the late 1850s. Denied access to life drawing classes in the United States, she learned to model the human form from the art around her in Europe and from a receptive circle of artists.


On View, Gallery 161


Arts of the Americas


Emma Stebbins




United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1859




Signed left, on base, chisled: "EMMA STEBBINS ROME".


74.9 × 29.2 × 29.2 cm (29 1/2 × 11 1/2 × 11 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Antiquarian Society

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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